GroundTruth Blog

GroundTruth: PAN's blog on pesticides, food & health

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

The Farm Bill expired on Monday (here's a roundup of what that means). So while we still have no Farm Bill, I'm here to tell you that Congress is feeling the heat. From all around the country — from farmers and mothers, environmentalists and faith communities — people are calling on Congress to pass a Farm Bill this year. While it won’t happen before the November elections it can happen during the short lame duck session that follows.

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

Silent Spring turns 50 next week, giving occasion for all manner of reflection on Rachel Carson's legacy as the author who catalyzed the U.S. environmental movement. The small, but vocal rightwing fringe continues in its campaign to paint Carson as the devil "responsible for more deaths than Hitler." But most mainstream reflections thus far have sought to contemporize Carson by drawing links between the issues she outlined in Silent Spring and the concerns we still face today. 

Claiming no special insight other than working daily in Carson's wake, I speculate that she'd be reporting in her way on one of these still-untold and/or under-reported pesticide stories: 

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

This week, PAN International is gathered with governments from across the globe in Nairobi, Kenya, pushing assertive and fair action on chemicals. Our goal: protect the health and well-being of our families and ecosystems the world over.

The auspices for the gathering: it's time to check progress on the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (better known as SAICM), an agreed-upon global plan of action to reduce to a minimum the harm chemicals wreak on health and ecosystems by 2020.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's blog
By Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,

Very big news exploding across the papers yesterday. Eating genetically engineered (GE) corn has been strongly linked to serious health effects — including mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage. A team of European scientists yesterday released the first independent long-term animal feeding study of its kind on the health effects of eating GE foods in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. 

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

This fall's mix of elections and anniversaries has stirred up a hornet's nest of talking heads.

September marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as California is gearing up for a landmark vote on labeling genetically engineered food in November. The combination appears to be a perfect storm for pesticide-promoting pundits.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

A recent study from Sweden shows that background exposure  — or long-term, low dose exposure — to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may play an important role in the development or progression of stroke in the elderly.

Research has shown that exposure to POPs can lead to such chronic health problems as diabetes, obesity and hardening of the arteries leading to cardiovascular trouble. The recent Swedish study adds to this litany of human health harms.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

When Congress returned from recess this week they started negotiating the terms under which the Farm Bill will be extended (beyond its September 30 ending date) and funded for at least the next six months. The proposal on the table guts conservation programs. 

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that galvanized an extraordinary cross-section of the American public into what we now call the environmental movement. Fifty years later, her courage, skill and sacrifice still inspire, and her legacy remains the contested terrain of some of our country’s most disabling rituals of political partisanship. Pesticides still function as a kind of litmus test: either you’re for farmers and progress and “sound science,” or you’re in the camp of those reflexively “chemophobic” tree-hugging “environmentalists.” And your loyalties to one or the other of these tribes can be indexed to how you feel about pesticides.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

What’s in our food and how is it grown? That’s what many Californians are asking as they consider voting for Proposition 37, the ballot initiative to label genetically engineered food.

In conjunction with our statewide coalition — Californians for Pesticide Reform — and Communities for a New California, PAN is working hard to promote our fundamental right to know.

Heather Pilatic's blog
By Heather Pilatic,

This week’s controversy surrounding a Stanford study claiming to have established that organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic illustrates the pitfalls of talking about food issues in a consumer frame. And people all around the country are saying so.

Food issues are never solely or even mainly about individual consumer choice — our food and farming system connects us with each other and is by most measures our most impactful daily interaction with the environment.